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Publisher's Summary

In this brilliantly analytical yet personal book, nondemocratic societies are put under a microscope to reveal the mechanics of tyranny that sustain them. In exposing the inner workings of a "fear society", the authors explain why democracy is not beyond any nation's reach, why it is essential for our security, and why there is much that can be done to promote it around the world.

Freedom, Sharansky claims, is rooted in the right to dissent, to walk into the town square and declare one's views without fear of punishment or reprisal. The authors persuasively argue that societies that do not protect that right can never be reliable partners for peace and that the democracy that hates us is much safer than the dictatorship that loves us.

©2004 Natan Sharansky and Ron Dermer; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"This book has the merit of straightforwardness...[it's] written with vigor, argued with panache and imbued with the fierce conviction." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • David
  • Clyde, NC, USA
  • 04-06-05

The finest book I have read in many years!!

Every American interested in justice and reason in our complicated world situation should read this book once a year.
The hero, (Author) Natan Sharansky, was a russian political prisoner for years, for trumped and totally false charges precipitated because he was a Russian of Jewish decent, who had the courage to speak out carefully for hman rights.
He has been active in Isreal since his release in 1986, and has been deeply involved in the peace efforts since that time. His insight and integrity are unimpeachable.
This book is POWERFULLL!!
After reading just a bit, I stopped, and did an extensive internet search concerning his life, activities, and character...and,..I was rewarded and frankly tranfixed by his marvelous mind and moral integrity.
Please read this book. It is impossible to put down!
Simon Vance, the reader, happens to be the finest voice on audible to date..as well!
Simon really does read many of the finest books on the audible site.
Bless both the writer and the reader!

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A great reminder of why freedom is so important.

Americans, as a whole, don't put a lot of value on their freedom. The saying, "You never know what you have until you've lost it," could become our mantra here in this country if we don't start taking our freedom seriously.

The author of this book knows first-hand what it is like to be deprived of personal freedom and knows what the high cost of freedom is. After serving many years in the Soviet gulag on trumped up charges, he was released and has spent his time championing the causes of the oppressed peoples throughout the world.

We should listen to him and take heed in what he says lest we let our current free society silently slide into a fear society.

Listen to this book and pass it along!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Great insight

especially how Russia created heroes like the coal miner and student. The system of propoganda was only effective until the communication walls came down.

  • Overall

A lesson for all politicians

Everyone who considers himself a politician and cares for democracy must read this book and learn from Sharansky's teachings.

  • Overall

Essential Arguments for Freedom

Mr. Sharansky's book clearly and unassailably distinguishes between free societies and fear societies, and discusses how those of us who want liberty for mankind have succeeded -- and how we've goofed up despite good intentions. This former Soviet dissident is a beacon of hope stengthened by tough determination. All who love freedom should read this book.

  • Overall

incredible view of democracy

With incredible insight he points to what we take for granted; maybe we have underestimated the power of democracy, since we are unaccustomed to anything else?
The patriotic should read it to look past blind belief to why they believe in democracy. The skeptic should read it for the optimistic outlook, the possibilities.
just incredible...